Commemorate Juneteenth today at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Each year the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts a free community Juneteenth festival as a celebration of African American freedom and achievement. This year’s event takes place today from 12 noon until 6pm.

Juneteenth is the oldest national commemoration of its kind, dating back to 1865.

Among  the musicians scheduled to perform at this year’s free Juneteenth celebration are  GRAMMY-nominated recording artist Shanice, Sir the Baptist and special host Larry Dodson of the Bar Kays.

The event will be emceed and co-hosted by Keef Glason of Power 92 FM. Local performers will include 2017 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase winner Dazz & Brie, ZaeHD, Chris James and Ron Mac, Big Piph and Tomorrow Maybe, Big John Miller Band, Gold and Glitz, Dunbar Middle School Choir and Mabelvale Drum Line.

In addition, other activities will be happening throughout the day, including vendors, food trucks, living history characters and film screenings. A screening of the documentary “Dreamland” will air at 1 p.m. and “Soul Food Junkies” will air at 3 p.m.

A kids zone will feature face painting, a video game truck, laser tag, rock climbing wall, water tinkering station and more!

Visitors are also invited to learn more about Arkansas history through the African American lens while exploring MTCC’s exhibits, including the new display, “Don’t Touch My Crown,” which opened June 14 and examines the role of hair in how African Americans define themselves and are defined by others, from the late 19th century to the present.

Seating at the performance stage is limited; attendees are invited to bring their own chairs and blankets.

MTCC is located at 501 W. Ninth St, Little Rock, AR 72201. For more information, please call (501) 683-3593 or email info@mosaictemplarscenter.com.

MTCC is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

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Celebrate Juneteenth at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center

Juneteenth logoAs part of the local Juneteenth celebration, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center hosts a day long event featuring activities, vendors, food and entertainment for the entire community. Events run from 11am to 5pm.

This year’s music line-up includes Ricky Howard, Delya Russell, Foreign Tongues, Steven Young – Artists United, Butterfly featuiring Irie Soul, Epiphany and the Big John Miller Band.

The museum will also celebrate an opening of a new exhibit on Arkansas African American legislators.

At 1pm, MTCC, in partnership with AETN, PBS and the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, presents this free documentary film premiere of American Experience: Freedom Summer.

FreedomSummer-PosterCMYK for webThe screening is in advance of the national broadcast premiere. This 2014 Official Sundance Selection from acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson will premiere at MTCC in conjunction with the Annual Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom. This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Freedom Summer.

As the campaign launches, 700 student volunteers are trained to register voters, teach in Freedom Schools, and help establish an alternate political party to represent the rights of those previously disenfranchised.

After learning of these impending summer activities, the white establishment in Mississippi prepares to fight off an invasion. Young activists, students, and local citizens work through their fear together, hoping to make a difference in black communities. As the summer wears on, many of their fears are realized.

A panel and Q & A will follow the premiere.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas, origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

Today, Juneteenth commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. It is a day, a week, and in some areas a month marked with celebrations, guest speakers, picnics and family gatherings. It is a time for reflection and rejoicing. It is a time for assessment, self-improvement and for planning the future. Its growing popularity signifies a level of maturity and dignity in America long overdue. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions are joining hands to truthfully acknowledge a period in our history that shaped and continues to influence our society today. Sensitized to the conditions and experiences of others, only then can we make significant and lasting improvements in our society.